A teenager who was caught drug driving in Cambridgeshire twice in three months has been disqualified from getting behind the wheel for three years.
Mahub Pabel, 19 of Fallowfield, Cambridge, was caught for the first time by police five days after passing his driving test.
On 9 August this year Pabel was spotted by an officer driving his Renault Clio erratically along Green End Road in Cambridge, Peterborough Magistrates’ Court heard.
He was seen driving onto Water Street and then Fallowfield near his home, where Pabel was stopped by police using blue lights. Officers spoke to him and noticed he smelt strongly of cannabis.
Pabel failed the roadside drug test and was arrested. He was then taken to Parkside police station, where a further blood test was carried out.
The test results revealed a reading of 6.8 micrograms of cannabis per litre of blood – more than three times the legal limit of 2 micrograms.
Pabel was released under investigation but on Sunday, 14 October, he was spotted by police driving erratically once again, in Kings Hedges Road, Cambridge.
One of the officers recognised the registration of Pabel’s Renault Clio after seeing the vehicle being driven erratically the night before – but being unable to stop it.
Pabel was stopped in Topper Street and an officer smelt cannabis coming from the vehicle as soon as the driver’s door was open.
Pabel failed a roadside test and was taken again to Parkside but refused to provide a specimen of blood for analysis.
At Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday (15 October), Pabel pleaded guilty to driving with a proportion of a controlled drug above the specified limit, as well as failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
He was given a 12-month community order, 100 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £170 in associated court costs. Pabel was also disqualified from driving.
PC Edd Davidson Smith said: “This case highlights that, unfortunately, there are still people who think it is acceptable to drive under the influence of drugs.
“Those who do so risk not only their own lives but also those of any passengers and other road users.
“Driving while under the influence of either drugs or alcohol brings a much higher risk of a serious collision.”
The penalties for drug driving are the same as those for drink driving. If convicted, motorists could lose their licence, be fined up to £5,000 and even face a prison sentence.
In 2015, the law relating to driving under the influence of drugs was changed to make it easier to prosecute those exceeding set limits - and the introduction of roadside test kits has helped officers identify people driving under the influence of drugs.
Police are asking for the public’s help in targeting motorists who drive under the influence of drink and drugs.
People are being urged to help catch those under the influence by using the confidential reporting line - 0800 032 0845, which is available 24/7, or report online at https://www.cambs.police.uk/report/Report-Shared/Report-anti-social-driving